Shaheen Lauds Biden Administration for First-Ever U.S. Strategy on Global Women’s EconomicJanuary 04, 2023
**Shaheen is the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has long-championed the rights of women and girls around the world**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – issued the following statement in response to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s announcement of the Biden administration’s U.S. Strategy on Global Women’s Economic Security, which is the first strategy of its kind by any U.S. administration.
“Since President Biden took office two years ago, I’ve made clear to him, Secretary Blinken and every national security official I’ve engaged with that global women’s issues must be a key component of U.S. foreign policy. When women’s personal freedoms and economic opportunities are suppressed, their growth potential suffers and the health and success of their families and communities are impeded. This is an especially critical problem in the most vulnerable parts of the world, where gender-based violence and the systemic exclusion of women and girls from employment, education and pivotal services occur regularly. It is both a moral prerogative and in the best interest of U.S. national security to prioritize policies that tear down these barriers and promote gender equality. The United States must continue to be a global leader in advancing women’s full equality and political, economic and social participation. That’s why I am thrilled to see Secretary Blinken’s announcement today of the first-ever U.S. Strategy on Global Women’s Economic Security,” said Shaheen.
Shaheen went on to address the President’s announcement last night to re-nominate Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta to serve as the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. Senator Shaheen has championed efforts in the Senate to confirm Dr. Gupta for the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues role and railed against Republican obstruction that prevented Gupta’s confirmation in the last Congress. She continued, “Issues tied to gender inequity like access to child care, capital and leadership opportunities pre-date COVID-19, but these obstacles were exacerbated by the pandemic. That’s why we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to help recover from the most recent global crisis and to ensure we’re prepared for whatever comes next. This strategy, as well as the urgent and severely overdue confirmation of Dr. Gupta to serve as the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, are crucial to addressing concerns for women around the world. The partisan obstruction that’s kept this role vacant cannot be allowed to continue. I’ll keep fighting to get Dr. Gupta’s nomination confirmed and I look forward to working with the Biden administration to advance and implement their strategy to promote women’s global economic inclusion and engagement.”
Per the U.S. State Department, the whole-of-government strategy will aim to streamline and mobilize U.S. foreign policy, international programming and development assistance, trade policy and promotion, private sector development and partnerships to ensure women’s full and equitable participation in the global economy. Remarks from the launch of the U.S. Strategy on Global Women’s Economic Security can be viewed here.
Shaheen leads action in the U.S. Senate on global women’s issues. In 2017, Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the Women, Peace and Security Act, was signed into law, requiring the U.S. Government to actively work to promote the meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention and peace negotiations. Shaheen built on this progress in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 government funding bill that was recently signed into law by securing $150 million for the implementation of a multi-year strategy on women, peace and security. Shaheen also worked to include $50 million to support women’s leadership programs, which the new law designates as the Madeleine K. Albright Women’s Leadership Program. Furthermore, the law provides $200 million for the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund and $15 million for the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State.
Senator Shaheen is a fierce advocate for women and girls in the United States and around the globe. Shaheen has prioritized issues to raise women up, which include advocating on behalf of family planning and women’s global health, spearheading efforts to end violence against women, empowering female entrepreneurs and breaking down barriers to education. Shaheen is also an outspoken advocate for Afghan women and girls. Shaheen long expressed deep concerns about the United States’ unconditioned withdrawal from Afghanistan, particularly out of concern for the immediate danger facing Afghan women and other groups vulnerable to the Taliban’s violence and oppression, which have escalated since U.S. withdrawal concluded nearly 18 months ago. Shaheen continues to raise the case of Afghan women and girls and the urgent need for U.S. and global action to protect them, and to hold the Taliban to account for gross human rights abuses.
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